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Primary position and heavy cycle traffic.

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Cab, 29 Oct 2007.

  1. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Twice today, in amongst heavy cycle traffic, I had near misses with other cyclists caused by the other guy not respecting my road position.

    Sounds high and mighty, I know, but let me explain. First incident, I'm cycling along behind a small van, leaving enough of a gap between me and him so that I don't hit him. I'm in the middle of the lane, its a one way road. other cyclist undertakes me on my left, tries to cut into the gap in front of me, I have to brake hard to miss him because I'm prevented from swerving right because of another cyclist coming up close on that side too.

    Further on, I'm out in primary, I look over my shoulder, indicate to turn left, brake gently, indicate again, and slap another cyclist in the face as I do so; he's completely missed me indicating and rather than overtaking around the outside he's trying to get through kerb-side. Neither of us came off but he didn't half swear at me.

    Now, I know, you have to give and take and use primary and secondary road positions as appropriate, but the problem I often have in Cambridge at this time of year is just how many cyclists here are complete muppets who don't know to respect other peoples spacing and road positioning, who don't get why every gap on the road is a good place to dive in to.

    Whats the best way for dealing with such traffic situations? I'm leaving enough space on the road to be safe when dealing with motorised vehicles, and those gaps get filled with other bikes. Whats the solution?
     
  2. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I suppose you have to look at risk. The risk of collision with a cyclist might be higher doing what you are doing, but the damage that would be done to you would generally be low in such a collision. If however you cycled as they did you would increase your risk of colliding with cars etc. The damage from this situation could be considerably more substantial.

    I would keep doing what you are doing, try to be as observant as you can, and if they give you agro just lamp them one..... (ok maybe leave out the last bit xx().
     
  3. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    So, hang on. Let me just get this straight. You, Cab, were cycling around Cambridge, like you do. And not one, but two, other cyclists, overtook YOU?! :tongue:
    xx(
    Seriously though they do sound like militant twats. Sound a bit like what a lot of people complain car drivers are like - "must get in front of somebody else whatever the cost". Maybe this is a disadvantage of going in primary position - that if there's a lot of other cyclists, they are tempted to undertake you?
     
  4. I have had plenty of cylist undertake me on the left plenty of times when I'm in the primary, although I've never had one cut right back in in front of me. Usually it when Ive stopped behind a large lorry and they squeeze by to undertake it !
    There's one left turn I do every morning and its dedicated Left turn lane at signals, to advoid getting left hooked and to make my self more visible to the right turner coming the other way I'm in the primary position and sometimes I get undertooken by a cyclist going straight. I just tend to expect it.
     
  5. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I know, shocking isn't it? :tongue:

    Thing is, my own speed is largely limited by conditions on the roads and what I'm doing; if theres a van in front of me I'm not going to go that fast usually, if I'm turning then I'll slow down. Thats when other cyclists seem to do crazy things :blush:

    I think thats almost certainly the case. Leave a gap for safety, theres someone in it.
     
  6. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I think that everything you say there is right. I think its worth pondering whether theres anything further I can do, because even though the likely harm in a collision with a motorised vehicle is greater, that doesn't mean I shouldn't also do what I can to minimise risk of collision with other cyclists. Although as you say, if it comes to a choice between risking one and risking the other, its a clear cut choice.

    I'll confess that once in a while I've snapped at such cyclist behaviour, usually something along the lines of "Back off, you're too close" or, "Watch it, thats not a gap". And sometimes it works, but more often than not that just provokes a sweary response.
     
  7. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    The trick in slow Cambridge traffic is to stick exactly a bikes length behind the vehicle in front, then close in a few inches if another cyclist gets too close. Doesn't always stop them trying to get in to that space of course, but it can dissuade them. Otherwise, that kind of cutting in front happens all of the time here.

    Yeah, that can happen a lot. Stop in the traffic looking for a gap to safely pass or just to wait where you are in the lane, some other cyclist squeezes down the left between a lorry and a railing, having to lean over with a foot on the kerb all the way down. Nasty.

    Rare for someone to undertake me when I've just indicated left and slowed down to turn; this mornings near miss seemed particularly stupid.
     
  8. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I think a problem with cycling is that cyclists have a subliminal inbuilt sense that they shouldn't have to wait in traffic. I know I suffer from that, and have to tell myself that I occasionally do.
     
  9. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Too many cyclists....god help us.....

    POBs most of them, and the same sort of folk who give us all a bad name.

    Not too many bikes on my routes - usually fellow commuters though
     
  10. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    From 5th Oct
    "37. Not bad. I mean, its good for any other time of the year, but with the number of new students out on the roads I would normally expext to overtake more than that on the way to work in a morning."

    So definitley overtaken by 2 today, is there a website soemwhere with 37 students all boasting " I overtook Cab today!" xx(
     
  11. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    xx(

    That would amuse me no end!

    There are definitely two populations of cyclists here, there are the 'cyclists' who all go pretty much at a decent pace, most of them seem to obey the rules and have lights, and then there are the 'persons on bikes' (sorry to use a phrase that many people hate, I don't currently have a better phrase) who you'll overtake in their dozens, who will then go straight past you when you stop at a red light, and who seem most likely to position themselves between you and the pavement when you're in traffic in primary position.
     
  12. Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    I too have slapped someone in the face because they undertook me while I was indicating left. It was me who did the swearing though.

    Ah, Cambridge student cyclists. A very special breed of obnoxious behaviour (I used to be one so I know what I'm talking about). It's not just when cycling that they have to make progress at everyone else's cost. I have lost count of the number of times I have been forced off the pavement by a group of students who are far too important to make space for anyone else to pass.
     
  13. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Off the pavement......?

    Welcome Molecule Man!! xx(
     
  14. Molecule Man

    Molecule Man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London
    Thank you. I used to post very infrequently on C+ (as Catford Boy), didn't feel comfortable with BikeRadar or ACF, so I've ended up here! Great videos Magnatom.

    When I say forced off the pavement, I mean when they and I are walking in opposite directions. I could go on and on about how much this annoys me, but I would end up looking like a raving loon.
     
  15. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Of course that's what you meant....xx(

    Seriously though, always good to have more C+ exiles here. Make yourself at home :tongue: